As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which are not included here unless they happen to be available under a free license. Most are not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I’m not restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

I also don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

9:04 – Mon 31 August 2020

Algorithms Are Automating Fascism. Here’s How We Fight Back from VICE Motherboard

…what we call “bias” is not merely the consequence of flawed technology, but a kind of computational ideology which codifies the worldviews that perpetuate inequality—white supremacy, patriarchy, settler-colonialism, homophobia and transphobia, to name just a few.

See also: Republicans Want the SPLC to Stop Designating ‘Hate Groups’ from VICE News.

It’s worth a reminder that, since the Enlightenment, it’s been extremely difficult to keep authoritarian views in the public discourse, because they’re obviously worse ideas. So, these activities aren’t accidental. They’re intended to make it easier to slip this garbage in.

12:04 – Mon 31 August 2020

In the face of great perils never before encountered, our strong purpose is to protect and to perpetuate the integrity of democracy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

9:01 – Tue 01 September 2020

When It Comes to the Truth of Opinion Columns, It’s Reader Beware from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

They did indeed all vote unanimously, as Thiessen reported in his column, to confirm Trump’s nominee for the postmaster general position, but they could hardly be called a bipartisan body.

Not to knock a good article, but FAIR has promoted its fair share of “Russiagate” screaming from certain journalists in its orbit, so it’s interesting (and maybe even a good sign) that they partly but specifically debunk Theissen by citing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report validating the accusation. It would be nice if the outlets and individuals who fell over themselves to exclusively blame the “Democratic establishment” for Trump’s election would maybe debunk their own claims, but somehow, I don’t see that in the cards…

12:05 – Tue 01 September 2020

No quote on Tuesday. Something went wrong with the posting.

9:02 – Wed 02 September 2020

New Deal programs still segregate cities and towns from Futurity

The new study is the first to estimate the effects of early-20th-century housing policies on subsequent segregation patterns.

It’s important to keep in mind that, when we fix bad laws, it unfortunately takes a long time to fix the consequences of those bad laws and longer still to fix the conditions that led to the creation of those laws. Neither goes away, just because you can point to a statute. If that was the case, we wouldn’t have traffic cops, because nobody on the road would speed.

12:01 – Wed 02 September 2020

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

9:05 – Thu 03 September 2020

White men are awakening to systemic racism. Now is their moment to act from Fast Company

Most majority men don’t back up their goodwill with action. Why should they if they don’t have to?

This is a big deal. If we “don’t have an opinion either way,” then we (by definition) support the status quo. And if we have an opinion, but can’t be bothered to act on our convictions…what good are we?

12:02 – Thu 03 September 2020

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde

9:03 – Fri 04 September 2020

Hurricane Laura Tore Down a Confederate Statue That Local Officials Voted to Keep from VICE News

As protests against police brutality and systemic racism mounted this summer, even a local judge took a stand in favor of removing the statue.

I mean…When even the hurricanes are against you, maybe it’s time to pack it in and let the statue go the way of the Confederacy?

12:03 – Fri 04 September 2020

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.

Jane Austen


Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, here’s a sixth article that didn’t fit into the week, but too weird to not mention.

Device speeds up tests for lead in water from Futurity

“Our goal was to bypass this process and build a sensitive, inexpensive device that can easily be carried around and analyze samples on-site within minutes to rapidly identify hot spots of contamination.”

Lead in the environment is one of the most damaging things we’ve done as a society. The fact that it takes a long time to even know where it’s a problem is a problem of its own.

How to Talk to a Friend Whose Posts Have You Worried from VICE

She suggested reaching out in a way that shows you’re willing to listen; you could say something like, “Hey, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling; I’m here if you want to talk.”

I point out this article, not just because of the mental health issues cited in the article, but because I’m sure we’ve all spent a lot of this year trying to figure out how to reach out to a friend who might be stressed and want to make sure that we don’t put them in a situation where they feel like they need to console and reassure us, instead. I know I have.

Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.